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Most days life can be routine, not all that exciting and at times a struggle. I’ve often misunderstood what it means to be joyous, thinking you have to feel in a great mood, or extremely happy about something to express joy. Indeed, if you are blessed to have contact with young children, which I am with godchildren, the energy and enthusiasm they express is pure joy and definitely uplifting. Recently one of my godkids got so excited about receiving a pair of pyjamas for his birthday it was a good lesson for me. I too can get excited about simple things. I also think joy is something we can consciously work on in our lives. One practice I use, which I know is used by lots of to do a type of ‘examen’ at the end of the day and consciously work through the moments and experiences of the day in a spirit of gratitude, love and learning. A sense of appreciation comes to us in times of silence and reflection. Sometimes looking back over the day and realizing one small thing I’ve mastered, whether it relates to cooking a new recipe or finding out how to do some technical thing, can bring joy.

Pope Francis talks about joy:

Joy does not mean living from laugh to laugh. No, it’s not that. Joy is not entertainment. No, it’s not that. It is something else. Christian joy is peace, peace that is deeply rooted, peace in the heart, the peace that only God can give. This is Christian joy. It is not easy to foster this joy.

  • ‘Rejoice in The Lord always; again I say, rejoice’ Philippians 4:4
  • ;..the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…’Galatians 5:22